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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: far right

Kevin McCarthy Withholds His Secret Three-Page Deal Memo With Far Right

At 5:00 PM ET Monday the House will reconvene to vote on the rules for how the 118th Congress will operate – discussions which consumed now-Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his top lieutenants last week as they wheeled and dealed to get him the gavel. Few know all the details of what McCarthy gave away to win the coveted Speaker’s seat, but it took five days, 15 different votes, some last-minute begging, and a Republican-on-Republican near-fist-fight on the floor of the House of Representatives before he was able to cinch the deal.

But not included in that 55-page document, according to PunchBowl News, is a “secret three-page addendum that McCarthy and his allies hashed out during several days of grueling negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus.”

Punchbowl News’ John Bresnahan on MSNBC Monday afternoon told Katy Tur that the “really controversial” secret three-page addendum is being “circulated” among some House Republicans but none are allowed to keep a copy, and it is not being released publicly. Presumably no Democrat has been shown the document.

The secret addendum, PunchBowl News also reported, “includes the most controversial concessions McCarthy made in order to become speaker – three seats on the Rules Committee for conservatives, freezing spending at FY2022 levels, a debt-ceiling strategy, coveted committee assignments and more.”

Indeed, while some House Republicans have claimed they were not given anything to vote for or to not vote against McCarthy, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), who placed third in the race for Speaker, admits he traded his slim prospect of becoming Speaker for a seat on powerful House GOP Steering Committee. Indeed, his name is the last one on the list.

One of there most controversial parts of the rules package is the creation of a“select subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government,” which would investigate the Department of Justice’s current criminal investigations into the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

Some familiar with the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers provisions suggest they cannot do this.

“This idea of ‘reviewing’ criminal cases in progress is really about interfering with them,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance. She notes, “it violates separation of powers. MAGA Republicans know this. They’re setting up a situation where the AG will properly refuse to provide info, which they’ll use as a pretext to impeach.”

Norman Ornstein, an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and a contributing editor for The Atlantic, calls it “a test for these so-called centrist Republicans. If they vote for this horrible rules package, they are complicit in radical, dangerous extremism. Never, ever call them moderates or reasonable.”

MSNBC’s Steve Benen reports some of the deals McCarthy made, presumably which appear either in the 55-page rules agreement or in the secret three-page addendum, include a “Motion to vacate the chair,” and three seats on the Rules Committee going to the far right.

More bad news, not just for McCarthy and the U.S. but the world economic system.

“McCarthy reportedly agreed to pursue a hostage crisis that would force the country into a possible default, while scrapping the so-called Gephardt rule, which allows the Congress to suspend, rather than lift, the debt limit.”

It’s not certain McCarthy will get the rules package passed, certainly not certain it will pass on the first round of voting.

“Republican @RepNancyMace told me yesterday that she’s considering withholding her vote on the Rules package until she gets more information about the handshake agreements that Speaker McCarthy made with members but hasn’t yet disclosed,” reports CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.

The Freedom Caucus, which is the beneficiary of many of these “really controversial” secret rules, is the most far-right caucus in Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), reportedly under investigation by the FBI for his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Perry refused to comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. Perry on Sunday announced he would not recuse himself from serving on the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight responsibility of the DOJ and FBI, despite being investigated by them.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Far Right Exploits Hamlin's Cardiac Arrest To Smear COVID Vaccination

Soon after Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field following a cardiac arrest, right-wing figures on Twitter and other social media platforms were baselessly blaming his injury on COVID-19 vaccines.

Early in the morning of January 3, the Bills released a statement explaining that Hamlin “suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in the Buffalo Bills' game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

Even though cardiologists have been all over the news explaining that Hamlin likely experienced a condition called commotio cordis, in which an impact to the chest during a specific time in the heartbeat cycle can cause cardiac arrest, right-wing figures rushed to blame Hamlin’s condition on supposed side effects of COVID-19 vaccines without a shred of evidence. Many of them referenced debunked claims, previously spread by conservatives, of athletes suddenly collapsing following their vaccination:

  • Turning Point USA co-founder Charlie Kirk: “This is a tragic and all too familiar sight right now: Athletes dropping suddenly.” [Twitter, 1/2/23]
  • Former Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield: “This is brutal. And I know what everyone with any common sense is thinking. This isn’t the first time a pro athlete had this happen. 💉💉NFL Mandate. Prayers for Hamlin.” [Twitter, 1/2/23]
  • Real America’s Voice host Ben Bergquam posted multiple tweets both explicitly and implicitly blaming Hamlin’s injury on vaccines. [Twitter, 1/2/23, 1/2/23, 1/2/23]
  • BlazeTV host Steve Deace: “I’m totally sure the same people who lied to you about lockdowns, masks, asymptomatic spread, school closures, HCQ, Ivermectin, the testing, the jabs, and about #DiedSuddendly will now suddenly tell you the truth about what you saw on Monday Night Football last night.” [Twitter, 1/3/23]
  • BlazeTV host Alex Stein: “Safe and Effective for 8 billion people with absolutely no side effects.” [Twitter, 1/2/23]
  • Former Newsmax host Emerald Robinson: “Everybody knows what happened to Damar Hamlin because it's happened to too many athletes around the world since COVID vaccination was required in sports.” [Twitter, 1/3/23]
  • News aggregator account NEWS_MAKER posted multiple tweets blaming vaccines. [Twitter, 1/3/23, 1/3/23, 1/3/23]
  • Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton: “The NFL pushed the covid vaccines on its players. When will the league investigate whether the ‘rare’ myocarditis vaccine side-effect is impacting players--such as making them more susceptible to game-related severe heart injuries?” [Twitter, 1/2/23]
  • Right-wing activist Laura Loomer: “We have a responsibility to speak up for those who become victims of Big Pharma & victims of @NFL management who pushed the vaccine onto healthy young players & staff. We have a responsibility to speak up for those who are vulnerable & fell victim to this crime against humanity.” [Twitter, 1/2/23]
  • Anti-vaccine doctor Peter McCullough: “This recent paper from Dr. Polykretis and myself gets the sharp rise in athlete deaths into PUBMED. Since vaccination, ‘1598 athletes suffered cardiac arrest, 1101 of which with deadly outcome. Over a prior 38-years (1966-2004), 1101 athletes < age of 35 died (~29/yr).” [Twitter, 1/3/23]
  • QAnon influencer InTheMatrixxx: “Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin appears ok then just dropped. Vaccines?” [Truth Social, 1/3/23]
  • Serial vaccine misinformer Sheri Tenpenny: “The media will 100% cover this up - guaranteed ‘Hamlin collided with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins after a completion. He got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless.’” [Telegram, 1/2/23]
  • Q-Anon account We The Media posted a meme associating the Hamlin incident with vaccines/Pfizer. [Telegram, 1/3/23]
  • War Room host Steve Bannon said, “You’ve got to consider the vaccine issues in this regard.” [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 1/3/23]

Users in right-wing Facebook groups are sharing sentiments similar to the claims cited above. One user decried that people can’t “dare suggest” Hamlin’s collapse was vaccine-related, another complained that people “still can’t connect the dot[s]” between COVID-19 vaccines and heart failures, and another baselessly claimed that “there is mounting evidence that shows the #MRNA shot is directly related to the increase of cardiac issues in male athletes.”

Conservative media have previously spread baseless or misleading claims about links between COVID-19 vaccines and heart injuries and deaths. In mid-2021, Kirk speculated that over 1 million people could have died from the vaccines. Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson repeatedly spread misinformation that the vaccines are harmful for heart health, especially for younger men. Far-right misinformers baselessly claimed that rapper DMX’s death following a heart attack was caused by COVID-19 vaccines, and The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens said the same following the death of comedian Bob Saget.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

'Disgusted' GOP Senators Express Concern Over Chaotic House Republicans

Republicans are set to take control of the House of Representatives on January 3, 2023 after winning a narrow majority in the November midterm elections. But substantial divisions within their caucus are preventing them from making basic decisions about how things will operate — so much so that Republican senators are openly questioning whether they will be able to function.

After winning a 222-213 majority, the House Republican caucus voted to nominate current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be speaker in the upcoming Congress. But at least five "Never Kevin" far-right Republicans say they will not vote for him, putting him potentially short of the needed majority to win the position when the full House votes. A group of slightly less right-wing Republicans has formed an "Only Kevin" faction and is reportedly scheming to punish the anti-McCarthy voices by stripping them of committee assignments.

According to a Thursday report in Politico, the result of this disarray has been paralysis for the incoming majority, as it has been unable to move forward on deciding who will lead key House committees, hiring staff, planning hearings, or setting a legislative agenda.

"Without question, delays in selecting chairmen and committee members put a lot of pressure on the agenda," Republican Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, who is retiring at the end of the current Congress, told the outlet.

"It delays the committee process," Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said of the ongoing uncertainty about who will be speaker. "We're behind already."

It has also undermined the House GOP's bargaining position in the current debate on the federal budget for 2023.

McCarthy (R-CA) has urged Senate Republicans to block passage of a year-old omnibus spending bill in the lame duck session this month, suggesting that the party will have more influence come January.

But the chairs of the House and Senate appropriations panels and the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee have ignored this and agreed Tuesday on a framework for a year-long funding bill.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN on Thursday that he would likely back the deal rather than wait for the House Republicans to take power, saying, "They're having enough problems trying to find a speaker — much less pass a bill."

Other Senate Republicans have also spoken out.

North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer told Politico on Wednesday that he was "disgusted" with the situation. "My concern is that a new House, very small majority, new leadership, is going to have to take over, and to have to start from behind?" he said. "That concerns me. That could have negative consequences."

Mississippi GOP Sen. Roger Wicker told the publication that it would be "better not to have that major hurdle that the new speaker, Kevin McCarthy, has to negotiate … it's too much to ask."

Since the start of 2021, House Democrats have passed hundreds of piece of legislation, including landmark laws addressing climate change and health care, curbing gun violence, investing in infrastructure, and protecting interracial and same-sex marriage. They did so with a narrow majority.

Throughout that time, Republicans frequently tweeted using the hashtag "#DemsInDisarray," mocking the majority for the occasional delays as they worked to find consensus.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Outrage Erupts As Kanye West Praises Hitler And Nazism On Infowars (VIDEO)

Disgraced rapper and antisemite Kanye West on Thursday praised Adolf Hitler while in an interview with far-right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Many have expressed outrage online.

“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones, as Consequence reports. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

In between those two remarks West launched into a plethora of lies about all the good things Hitler has done, including investing the microphone (false) and highways (also false.)

West doubled down, exclaiming, “I like Hitler,” and said, “the Jewish media has made us feel like Nazis and Hitler have never offered us anything of value to the world.”

West, who brought a white supremacist with him to dine with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week, today also claimed he loves everyone but injected antisemitic tropes about contracts and pornography.

“I think most Jews are great people,” Jones said, while claiming, “I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”

West, who goes by “Ye,” astonishingly “took credit for popularizing antisemitism,” Consequence reports, “saying, ‘No one in high school knew what antisemitic meant until Ye made it popular.'”

That, too, is a lie.

The outrage online is palpable.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) tweeted, “JUST NOW: ‘I see good things about Hitler, also. The Jews… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.’
— Kanye West on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars show.”

“This is Nazism,” he added. “When are we going to say ENOUGH?”

Many pointed to a wildly offensive tweet posted by GOP Congressman Jim Jordan, who heads the House Judiciary Republicans. After nearly two months it was removed within minutes of West praising Hitler.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) blasted Jordan, saying: “for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing.”


Sam Stein of Politico and MSNBC took a wider view.

“We’re all gawking at Kanye saying he sees ‘good things about Hitler’ but i can’t escape the absolute dread that people who know no better and look up to this man and stumble upon this interview will be moved, even on the margins, by him,” he tweeted. “This is not a clown show. It’s dangerous.”

As did actor Josh Gad:

“It’s not what Kanye West says that scares me. It’s that he has 30 million followers who listen to his insanity on top of a cheerleader in the form of the current owner of this platform. No one who says “I love Hitler” should be allowed any oxygen on any social platform (period).”

Ye praises Hitler, Nazis in livestream interview youtu.be

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Calling For Violence, Lake's Conspiracy Weirdos Crash Maricopa County Meeting (VIDEO)

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors met on November 28 to certify the canvass of the 2022 primary election results. Conspiracy theorists and extremists appeared at the public meeting to push election conspiracy theories and far-right talking points in protest of Maricopa County’s certification.

Arizona has been a hotbed of conspiracy theories and right-wing extremism leading up to and following the losses of several far-right candidates in the state’s 2022 midterm elections. Now, right-wing conspiracy theorists are protesting the certification of election results in Arizona’s largest county.

Colorado right-wing podcaster and election denialist Joe Oltmann gave a public comment at the Maricopa Board of Supervisors meeting. Oltmann has previously called for his political opponents to be hanged and suggested that armed protestors should flood the streets of Arizona over the 2022 certification.

Opening his comments, Oltmann described himself as “the chief election denier.” He then falsely claimed that Dominion voting machines can be used to “cheat” and suggested that American people are being gaslighted into believing in “gender fluidity.”

Real America’s Voice correspondent and conspiracy theorist Ben Bergquam also appeared at the meeting for public comment. Real America’s Voice is a right-wing network that carries Steve Bannon’s War Room, where Bergquam frequently appears, and The Charlie Kirk Show, among others.

“What we saw on election day was outrageous. … 2020 was a disaster, how was 2022 worse?” Bergquam said.

“The election machines didn’t work,” he added.

Disgraced college professor and election fraud conspiracy theorist David Clements also appeared at the meeting. Clements also has ties to Steve Bannon and has previously appeared on his show to push voter fraud conspiracy theories.

Clements opened his comments by calling himself a “slave” to the election system and “corruption.”

Clements then declared that “this is vote trafficking” and that “we’re not here to be civil.”


Arizona election denial gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has been reposting public comments protesting the certification on her Instagram account.

Cochise County, another Arizona county, voted today to delay the certification of the election results, “and miss the state's legal deadline of Monday, despite finding no legitimate problems with the local counts.” Arizona’s secretary of state reportedly plans to file legal action against the county.

At least one speaker took her disdain for Maricopa’s certification to a whole new level, calling for a “violent revolution” and suggesting that election officials in the county could face “the death penalty” for “treason.”


Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem are both leaders in the right-wing movement to push voter fraud narratives in elections where republicans lose. Their losses have motivated conspiracy theorists, extremists, and media figures to object to the certification of the election, echoing pre-January 6 rhetoric that led to the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Horrified Evangelical Pastor Fights Back Against Trump's 'Christian' Nationalism

Although former President Donald Trump is by no means universally loved within Christianity and has his share of critics among Catholics and Mainline Protestants, he has been incredibly popular within a certain area of Christianity: far-right White fundamentalist evangelicals. That movement, which has been called the Christian Right or the Religious Right, has had a firm grip on the Republican Party since the early 1980s. And although Trump himself was raised Presbyterian, not evangelical, and is not known for being very religious, he was made a point of courting evangelicals.

One pastor who is critical of the relationship between Trump and the Christian Right is Caleb Campbell of the Desert Springs Bible Church in Phoenix, Arizona. According to a report from the Globe & Mail’s Nathan VanderKlippe, Campbell is trying to counter the Trump/MAGA influence on evangelicals.

“You can think of Donald Trump’s most faithful adherents as bigots or patriots, constitutional standard-bearers or deluded masses,” VanderKlippe writes in an article published on November 25. “Caleb Campbell likes to think of them as sheep that have gone astray. He has made it his work to lead them back…. Mr. Campbell’s introduction to the congregation of Trump came in a church, after fellow Christians suggested he attend what was described as a revival event organized by Turning Point.”

Turning Point is the pro-Trump group led by right-wing activist Charlie Kirk. Campbell told the Globe & Mail that when he first heard Kirk speaking at a MAGA/evangelical event, he was “absolutely terrified and horrified.”

“Mr. Kirk established Turning Point USA and, in 2021, TPUSA Faith, which organized some of the events Mr. Campbell attended,” VanderKlippe explains. “Mr. Kirk calls the separation of church and state a lie, saying ‘the church founded this country’ and, today, ‘has to rise up in every capacity.’ TPUSA Faith’s ambition is to gather and organize religious leaders, providing them with resources ‘to activate their congregations to fight for free people, free markets, free speech and limited government.’ Listening to that message left Mr. Campbell unsettled.”

Campbell describes Christian nationalism as “a mean-spirited, vulgar grab for power with violent rhetoric.”

“Mr. Campbell’s initial efforts to push back were not popular with his White, evangelical and suburban parishioners,” VanderKlippe notes. “His congregation shrank from 800 people to 300. He began to write a book about engaging the ‘mission field’ of new religious conservatism — and started to attract new congregants, whom he describes as ‘disheartened, if not disgusted, by the amalgamation of nationalism and Christianity.’”

VanderKlippe adds, “(Campbell) has fashioned a tool kit for winning back the souls from the Trump church. He begins by establishing personal trust, without which people tend to resist questioning their own beliefs. He encourages people to fast from media for two weeks. And he invites them to sit at a table with others who hold different views to discuss hot-button issues such as immigration.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Ginni Headlines Far-Right Crew Seeking To Delay GOP Leadership Races

Political experts are warning about a group of nearly 60 far-right wing politicos including Ginni Thomas, Matt Schlapp, and Cleta Mitchell who reportedly will issue a letter calling for the House and Senate to delay votes on leadership positions including Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader.

Axios’ Jonathan first reported the news, posting at least part of the letter and the list of signatories (below).

Some of the other more recognizable names on the letter include Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House chief of staff; Cleta Mitchell, the attorney who The New York Times calls the “architect of Donald J. Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election”; former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis; former U.S. Senator and former Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint (R-SC); former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie, the right wing activist and head of the organization responsible for the Citizens United Supreme Court lawsuit that made countless billions of dark money in political elections legal.

Also, white supremacist and disgraced former Rep. Steve King (R-IA); convicted felon and disgraced former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), right-wing religious extremist Kenneth Blackwell of the Family Research Council, which is on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups, and others.

“The Republican Party needs leaders who will confidently and skillfully present a persuasive coherent vision of who we are, what we stand for, and what we will do,” the letter reads. “Many current elections are still undecided. There should be no rushed leadership elections.”

“Conservative Members of the House and Senate have called for the leadership elections to be delayed,” it adds, not naming which ones. “We strongly urge both Houses of Congress to postpone the formal Leadership elections until after the December 6 runoff in Georgia and all election results are fully decided.”

Experts are weighing in and issuing warnings.

“Note at least 3 people on this letter–Mark Meadows, Jenna Ellis, and Cleta Mitchell–are almost certainly subjects of the Jan6 investigation,” observed civil rights and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler. “So this is partly a crime-protection racket, signed by Clarence Thomas’ spouse.”

HuffPost’s White House correspondent S.V. Dáte, who once in a press conference asked Donald Trump if he regretted “all the lying,” likened the list to “a coup-plotters reunion.”

Politico Senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney, who has done extensive reporting on the January 6 insurrection, commented, “some of these people are experts at seeking delays of elections.”

Investigative journalist and columnist Dave Troy, who has done extensive reporting on Vladimir Putin, noted: “All this makes me ask is what these clowns (Ginni Thomas, Cleta Mitchell, Mark Meadows et al) are planning between now and December 6, and how to stop whatever it is. Are they planning to poison someone? What is it this time?”

“Why aren’t these people in jail, anyway?” he also asked.

The American Independent’s senior political reporter Emily C. Singer simply called it a “who’s who of insurrection supporting Republicans.”

“So you’re telling me that Ginni Thomas, Mark Meadows, and Matt Schlapp want to interfere in ANOTHER election,” wrote Attorney Adam Cohen of Lawyers for Good Government. “Folks, even if the Democrats retain the House, we cannot rest. Because these people won’t.”

Read the letter below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Twitter's Advertisers Can Stop Musk From Making It A Far-Right Recruiting Tool

Elon Musk has acquired Twitter, and the platform's top advertisers should take notice. If Musk makes even a fraction of the changes he has suggested, the platform will open the floodgates for misinformation and hate speech and reinstate numerous dangerous and abusive accounts — including former President Donald Trump, whose account was permanently suspended for inciting violence following the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

As Media Matters President Angelo Carusone has warned, recognizing the dangers of Musk’s Twitter takeover “isn’t alarmism, this is fact.”

Musk has a demonstrated history of opposing corporate transparency and promoting right-wing misinformation. It is incumbent on the platform’s top advertisers — including HBO, Mondelez International, and Amazon — to pull their support if Musk’s acquisition results in a new deluge of unmoderated right-wing hatred and misinformation.

Twitter’s top 20 advertisers should wield their influence to try and curb Musk’s potential damages to the platform

In an October 27 letter to advertisers posted on Twitter, Musk proclaimed that “Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world.” This claim rings hollow given Musk’s demonstrated aversion to advertising.

Considering that ads reportedly accounted for 90% of Twitter’s revenue, it is clear that the power to hold Musk accountable if he rolls back the platform’s protections against harassment, abuse, and disinformation lies in the hands of Twitter’s top advertisers.

According to Pathmatics, a firm that tracks digital spending, the 20 companies that spent the most on Twitter advertising since January 1 paid the platform an estimated $358 million combined. These companies include:

  • Home Box Office Inc. (HBO)
  • Mondelez International
  • Amazon
  • IBM
  • PepsiCo Inc.
  • Best Buy Co. Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Capital One Financial Corporation
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Unilever
  • Merck & Co. (Merck Sharp & Dohme MSD)
  • Disney
  • CenturyLink (Lumen Technologies Inc.)
  • Comcast Corporation
  • Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.)
  • Google
  • Verizon
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • CBS (CBS.com)

In the potential scenario that Musk wields Twitter to promote his red-pilled ideological agenda, these 20 companies will be funding and lending support to a platform that fuels right-wing hatred and extremism.

Under Musk, Twitter is set to restore Trump to the platform and become a cesspool of right-wing misinformation

In May, Musk said that the decision to permanently ban Trump from the platform was “morally bad,” and that he would reverse the decision, even though Twitter and other platforms saw decreases in misinformation after banning him. If Musk reinstates Trump’s account, Trump could return to the platform and spread self-serving misinformation and hateful rhetoric to more mainstream audiences. Numerous other extremists could also rejoin the platform under Musk’s leadership.

When news first broke that Musk had plans to purchase Twitter, banned users including former Trump aide Steve Bannon, Christian nationalist Rep. Marjorie Tayor Greene (R-GA), white nationalist political commentator Nick Fuentes, and numerous QAnon-supporting users celebrated the move. Election denier and “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, who is also currently banned from Twitter, called Musk’s prospective ownership of the platform “the most consequential thing I’ve seen since the election of Trump.” Extreme anti-trans figures also celebrated by begging the billionaire to bring back accounts suspended for spreading hatred and bigotry.

It is no mistake that extremists see Musk as their ally: the Tesla CEO has historically used his own Twitter account to amplify right-wing conspiracy theories, misinformation, and discriminatory rhetoric. Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has praised Musk for “dispensing red pills on every corner.”

Additionally, right-wing media have celebrated the pending deal and suggested that once Musk owns Twitter, he will exact revenge on their behalf for nonexistent bias against conservatives on the platform. Fox News host Sean Hannity advised Musk to fire “most, if not all” Twitter employees and Fox’s Tucker Carlson absurdly compared Musk's Twitter takeover to the fall of the Berlin Wall, while One America News host Addison Smith reveled that “Elon Musk has literally bought the libs. He owns them now.”

Advertisers should not give credence to Musk’s purported benevolent concern for free speech: His vision for Twitter would be a capitulation to extremists who want free rein to harm other users.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.